MARS Zimbabwe unveils new dedicated aircraft
“COVID-19 Care In The Sky”
MARS recently unveiled its new dedicated aircraft with a mission to save lives by providing excellent pre-hospital and critical care anywhere in Zimbabwe and beyond. The organisation, founded in 1991 and a subsidiary of Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe, has a reputation for providing a world-class emergency medical response service due to its resourcing coupled with the dedication and commitment of its staff.
MARS has an extensive countrywide network of trauma specialists, doctors, nurses and certified medical personnel providing advanced life support emergency medical service from 10 regional bases in Zimbabwe.
Ministry-certified COVID-19 RDT, antigen and PCR testing is also available from all 10 bases, coupled with home-based care support and COVID-19-related equipment supply (upon request) for patients self-isolating at home.
“The recent acquisition of our dedicated Beechcraft King Air 200 aircraft was a strategic business decision that was taken in order to see MARS return to its former state, that saw it successfully carry out thousands of life-saving air evacuations to and from such diverse central and southern Africa sources as Mozambique, Kenya, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria (South Africa), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Lueana and Luanda (Angola), Kinshasa and Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo), Lusaka and Likulu (Zambia) and Antananarivo (Madagascar), among many others,” said Mr Eddie Chibi, the chief executive officer of Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe.
The aircraft comes handy for a wide range of medical emergencies, including cases of critically injured or medically compromised patients, for example COVID-19 positive patients, a testament to the axiom “time saves lives”.
“We need to be ready for immediate action 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Once the dispatch of the air ambulance has been deemed appropriate by the MARS flightdesk, the pilots and medical crew will be on board and ready for take-off in no time,” said Doug Mahiya, the general manager for MARS.
Key advantages of the King Air 200 include:
pressurised aircraft fitted with a life port system
fully configured to intensive care standards
long range capability
short airstrip take off and landing capability (1 200 metres)
multiple casualty capacity or carrying capacity
based at Harare main airport operational 24 hours
good response times.
The aircraft’s capabilities include longhaul, non-stop flights around east and southern Africa, as far north as Tanzania and as far south as Cape Town.
The aircraft is configured as an intensive care air ambulance comprising a dual lifeport system on board, and equipment of a full intensive care unit standard, which includes a comprehensive drug range, airway and trauma management, advanced cardiovascular life support, oxygen administration, suction and neonatal incubator equipment.
The aircraft not only allows two patients to be flown in comfort and high care, but also have a friend or family member accompany them.
Most international insurances/international medical funders rely on the professional services of MARS for the traveller to Africa, with most internationally insured patients being evacuated to Johannesburg, specifically Milpark Clinic, Sandton, Sunninghill, Garden City and Morningside hospitals.
MARS also does medical accompaniments on board commercial flights for those repatriating their loved ones or travelling out of Zimbabwe to seek medical intervention abroad, for example India or any other such medical tourism destinations.
Private charter services
The dedicated aircraft is also providing charter services for the discerning traveller — business or pleasure.
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